Other Regulator Updates - ROI

Apr 03, 2020

This page was last updated on: 29 May 2020

Chartered Accountants Ireland has been engaging with the Companies Registration Office, the Central Bank and other key government agencies and stakeholders regarding the impact of COVID-19. The most up to date information available is as follows:

  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML) – The current crisis has resulted in new risks with regard to AML and it’s important to ensure that entities comply with their AML obligations. Our colleagues in Professional Standards have collated AML guidance from a variety of sources which may be beneficial. It is also advisable to keep up to date with any new announcements from the Dept. of Justice, Equality and Law Reform here.  
  • Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) – The Central Bank of Ireland is allowing flexibility regarding the filing of returns from the entities that they regulate, and they have clarified the application of relevant announcements made by ESMA. A full listing of the amendments are available here. They have also created a COVID-19 hub which contains information and guidance for consumers, businesses and regulated firms. They previously issued a statement (31 March) on maintaining essential financial services and set out their expectations (27 March) of how regulated insurance firms should treat their customers in light of the significant economic disruption caused by the COVID-19.
  • Companies Registration Office (CRO) – The CRO have issued a schedule outlining the current submission processing dates. The majority of forms are processed within a couple of days with the exception of the B1 Annual Return where the forms submitted on 5 May are currently being processed. They previously issued an update on 15 April outlining what services are available and which includes the relevant contact details. The CRO has confirmed that all annual returns due to be filed by companies between now and 30 June 2020 will be deemed to have been filed on time if all elements of the annual return are completed and filed by that date. The situation will be kept under review and the date of 30 June 2020 may be extended depending on the situation at the time.  Please see the CRO twitter for the latest updates.
  • The Registrar of Friendly Societies also has an updated annual return date of 30 June 2020.
  • Central Statistics Office (CSO) – The COVID-19 Information Hub on the CSO website contains a variety of survey results and statistics which members may find interesting. They acknowledge that collecting data will be difficult in the COVID-19 period and has issued a press release outlining their priorities and the processes in place during this period.
  • Charities Regulator – The Charities Regulator has published the results of a survey that they conducted on ‘The Impact of Coronavirus on Charities’. They have also issued a list of FAQs which may answer some of the concerns being raised by charities and these are continually being updated. In recognition of the current public health crisis, the Board of the Charities Regulator has exercised its power to specify an alternative period for the filing of any annual report which was due to be prepared and submitted to the Charities Regulator on any date from 12th March 2020 to 29th June 2020 inclusive. Annual reports which were due to be filed with the Charities Regulator on any date from 12th March 2020 to 29th June 2020 inclusive, may now be submitted to the Charities Regulator at any time up to 30th June 2020.
  • Courts Service – The Courts Service has amended procedures to allow courts to sit for longer than two hours from 22 May. They previously issued a statement  detailing the measures being taken to create a pathway for the re-opening of courts. All updates are available on their website.
  • Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) – The DPC has issued tips for avoiding data breaches. They previously published a guidance note on cookies and other tracking technologies and also issued tips for video-conferences, tips for staying safe online and a note with some guidance for data subject access requests during the COVID-19 crisis. Previously they issued a note which serves as a reminder on data protection obligations when processing personal data relating to COVID-19. They have also published tips to keep personal data safe when working remotely which are included here.
  • Law Society of Ireland (Law Society) – The Law Society appreciates that there will be solicitors who are in difficulty in relation to the filing of their annual and closing reports. Any such solicitors are asked to contact the Society with their proposals for the filing of the report and each will be looked at on a case by case basis. To facilitate the filing of annual and closing reports, the Society is willing to accept unsigned reports by email to financialregulation@lawsociety.ie, provided that they are accompanied by an undertaking from the reporting accountant to submit the signed report as soon as practicable. All proposals put forward, either by solicitors or their reporting accountants, are being considered, with the emphasis on getting as many annual and closing reports filed as possible. It is also worth noting that there has been no change in the law in relation to the requirements for execution, stamping and registration of deeds. The requirements for registration of deeds in the PRA means that wet signatures on deeds are still required.
  • Pensions Authority – The Pensions Authority has issued a further update on regulatory matters and with employer contributions. It previously issued some guidelines and advice on how to deal with the most immediate issues facing trustees and service providers and also some advice regarding investments and pension scheme contributions.
  • Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) – The PSRA in conjunction with the IPAV and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland have issued a Joint Sector Protocol for property service providers. The PSRA has issued a notice regarding the implementation of a four month extension to the expiry dates of Licensees, with an expiry date between 7 May 2020 and 31 August 2020.Their previous update provided information regarding the filing of accountants reports.